It's not that I've stopped cooking entirely and turned into someone that eats Kraft Dinner every night (though some nights...). Or that I haven't made anything post-worthy in the last few months. There was the mind-blowingly amazing Momofuku Compost cookies that were so good I made two double batches in the span of two weeks. And the experimental S'mores pizza that turned out to be the perfect emergency dessert. And a few other yummy meals that I'll attempt to post about in the next couple of weeks. Mostly things got pretty busy at work and I got lazy. Not lazy enough to stop cooking good food, but enough that I stopped taking pictures of my meals or documenting the recipes. A pretty sorry excuse, I know, but that's all I have.
Anyway, my mom had requested no presents for Mother's day this year but simply some good food. It seemed like a nice opportunity to try out some new recipes and ah! post about them.
I've been craving some sort of a brunch "roll" since the Mother's day recipes starting creeping in to the blogosphere a couple of weeks ago. I've never actually attempted my own cinnamon rolls mostly out of (again) laziness - who really has time to get up three hours early to make a real yeasted dough that needs to rise twice*? But since my mom actuallys works until 2 on Sundays I figured I had the time to whip up some rolls in time for an afternoon snack before dinner. My original intention was to make some traditional cinnamon rolls, but then these lemon rolls floated back into my memory. Lemons just seem to scream "Spring" and "Mom", don't they?? Nevermind the fact that winter just doesn't want to go AWAY and it was maybe 10 degrees at the warmest part of this weekend.
These rolls were verrrry good - soft, sticky and not too sweet. They would be a fantastic addition to any brunch spread, or as a treat to go with some afternoon tea. I actually used less lemon than the original recipe called for (they had used zest in the dough as well) and still found it quite lemon-y so I think it was a good call. And the texture of the dough was also perfect. I will definitely be using it again and experimenting with different filling options. YUM.
*Sure, I've done it for english muffins but those occasions also tend to stem from a different kind of laziness: I choose to stay at home and make my own versus the option of going (god forbid) outside to buy them on Sunday mornings.
Sticky Lemon Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
Adapted from theKitchn
Makes 12 large breakfast rolls...or 15 large-ish rolls
Lemon Roll Dough
2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
3/4 cup milk, warm but not hot on your wrist
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Sticky Lemon Filling
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 lemons, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 lemon, zested
1. In a small measuring cup, sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a couple minutes.
2. Stir in the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, and one cup of the flour. Stir in the salt and nutmeg. Stir in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough. (I only ended up using about 3 1/2 cups of flour in total, with additional for dusting while kneading)
3. Turn the soft dough onto a lightly floured countertop and knead for about 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and pliable. Drizzle the top of the dough with vegetable oil, and turn the dough over so it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise until nearly doubled - about an hour.
4. In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the nutmeg and ginger, then work in the lemon zest with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles wet, soft sand. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon. The mixture should now be more of a sludge. Lightly grease a 13x9 inch baking dish.
5. On a floured surface pat the dough out into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10x15 inches. Spread evenly with the softened butter, then pour and spread the lemon-sugar mixture over top. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the top long end. Be warned...you'll have plenty of the lemon-sugar sludge leak out. At least I did (see picture). Cut the long dough roll into 12-15 even rolls, and place them, cut side up, in the prepared baking dish. I do think that 12 rolls would have fit in the pan better, but I clearly was not measuring out my rolls properly while I was cutting and it's pretty hard to go back on this one. Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour.)
6. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit, 180 degrees Celsius. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, until rolls are a golden brown.
7. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small food processor (or with a mixer, or a sturdy whisk), whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and zest and blend until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy. When the rolls are done, drizzle them with the cream cheese glaze. Serve while warm.